French court dismisses hate charges against Dylan in comment on Croats

A court in Paris on Tuesday dismissed a case against Bob Dylan on charges of incitement to hatred filed by the Council of Croats in France (CRICCF) after this famous American musician was quoted comparing Croats to Nazis in an interview he gave to Rolling Stone magazine in 2012.

Dylan’s lawyer Thierry Marembert was quoted by AFP as saying on Tuesday that the case was dismissed and that he was “very happy the justice system understood that Bob Dylan never intended to hurt or defame anyone.”

The judge ruled the 72-year-old musician had not given his consent for his comments to be published in the French-language edition of Rolling Stone, which was the basis of CRICCF’s complaint, AFP reported.

But she ordered the director of the magazine’s French edition to stand trial over the charges and transferred that case to a misdemeanour court.

Dylan was preliminarily charged with the offence in November 2013 after comments made to Rolling Stone magazine in a 2012 interview sparked a complaint from the CRICCF, the French news agency recalls.

“If you got a slave master or Klan in your blood, blacks can sense that. That stuff lingers to this day. Just like Jews can sense Nazi blood and the Serbs can sense Croatian blood,” Dylan was quoted as saying in answer to a question about race relations in the United States.

The singer was charged and heard by a French court specialised in media during his visit to Paris in mid-November when he held several concerts and received the Legion of Honour award from French Culture Minister Aurelie Filippetti.(TSN)